Arts and Entertainment

X-Files star Gillian Anderson is returning to the London stage to play Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire.

Man in the Dark, by Paul Auster

Reflections from a hall of mirrors where the present changes shape

Preview: Small craft warnings, Arcola Theatre, London

A motley crew drowning in their sorrows

Savage Grace, 15

The lurid true-life tale of the Baekeland family, inheritors of the Bakelite fortune, charts the troubles that wealth and boredom can bring in their wake. Not one for those who like a happy ending

Gore Vidal: Feuds, 'vicious' mother and rumours of a secret love child

He slept with Kerouac, hung out with Jackie O and feuded with Mailer. He's the last surviving giant of American literature's golden age. So why is Gore Vidal still so sensitive about his reputation?

Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sadler's Wells, London

Phoenix's new programme makes for a literary evening. It can be a strain: versions of Othello and The Glass Menagerie are stylised, sometimes stylish, often confusing. It's not until the final piece, Paseillo, that dance and characterisation are satisfyingly blended.

Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sadler's Wells London

Sinuous movements to Tennessee Williams reading his own script make for a compelling merger

Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan; When a twee pop beauty met a rock'n'roll beast

Belle and Sebastian's Isobel Campbell is on to her second album with rocker Mark Lanegan. She tells Tim Cooper about an odd coupling

The Glass Menagerie, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Brenda Blethyn is billed as the star of Tennessee Williams's haunting "memory play", The Glass Menagerie. Yet, despite the aching combination of brittle brightness and sense of missed opportunity that she brings to the part of the aging Southern belle Amanda Wingfield, Braham Murray's luminous production is in fact very much an ensemble piece. The intimate in-the-round space adds its own dynamics to the tense interaction between Williams's four characters, Simon Higlett's ingenious set drawing the audience in to the stifling claustrophobia of life in the Wingfields' shabby basement.

Tennessee Williams' version of Chekhov's 'The Seagull'is being performed in Britain for the first time

On 15 February the flamboyant, ageing actress Irina Arkadina will sweep across the stage of the Exeter Northcott Theatre, seducing and bullying her son, Constantin, and her lover, Trigorin. But the actors (Mary Tamm, Philip Cumbus, and James Wallace, respectively) will not be performing in another version of The Seagull. They are appearing in the UK premiere of a play that Tennessee Williams wrote at the end of his life, The Notebook of Trigorin.

Caesar in a bun

Serves 4

Paul Bowles: A Life, by Virginia Spencer-Carr

He ushered in the end of civilisation

Edward Bunker

Bank robber turned crime writer and actor

The Heart of America - Your three- part guide to the most exciting destinations in the US

Even if you were brought up in Herts, I bet you have a pretty good working knowledge of the heart of America. In your mind you may have ridden a streetcar named Desire through New Orleans with Tennessee Williams, boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh with Paul Simon, driven down Route 66 with Chuck Berry - and in reality you may have seen more episodes of Dallas and ER than you care to admit.

A Streetcar Named Desire, Lyttelton, National Theatre, London

Blanche is too tough and Kowalski too sensitive in this miscast 'Streetcar'

Friday book: The influential role performed by pink plays

Out on Stage: lesbian and gay theatre in the twentieth century
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Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones